How to Sync Outlook Tasks with your iPhone

UPDATE: 2/28/13: I have removed old content on this post that no longer worked and replaced it with a solution that works as of today.  I will do my best to keep this post updated as technology changes.  Thanks for visiting!

UPDATE: 3/30/12: See the warnings about syncing Outlook with your iPhone in this post, but note that those experiences are from almost a year ago, and things have changed.

UPDATE: 7/28/11: This post refers to syncing Outlook for WINDOWS (all versions, as far as I can tell) with your iPhone.   I have not yet found a solution for syncing Outlook 2011 for MAC tasks directly with iPhone.  I did find this article about syncing to iCal and if that works successfully, you can then sync tasks easily from iCal to iPhone via iCloud.  I can not speak to how well it works.  These difficulties, to me, are sufficient reason to recommend AGAINST Outlook for Mac as a productivity solution.  For other suggestions of productivity tools for Mac users, see this post and this post.

I used Outlook to run my life for almost a decade, and the majority of the training I do is still using Outlook as the support tool.  I also show you in my book how to adapt to Outlook my Empowered Productivity System for managing the details of your life and work. I am a fan and think it is a very powerful PIM (personal information manager) that can easily handle the complexity of your life.  The one shortcoming is if you need to share calendars or other information, it’s easiest if you are running an Exchange server and this doesn’t make sense for everyone (technically, you can sync your Outlook calendar with Google and share it that way, although I’d hardly say it’s seamless).

A question I get a lot is how to sync Outlook Tasks with an iPhone.  The technology has changed since I originally wrote this post more than three years ago, and I will attempt to keep it updated with the latest information.  Some of the comments below may deal with prior content that has since been removed.  Also, these are instructions for those NOT using a corporate Exchange server.  If you are using an Exchange server, your Outlook tasks should be appearing in the Reminders app on your iPhone.  If you don’t like how that works, check out IMExchange2 which has worked really well in my experience.

Syncing Outlook Tasks with iPhone is much harder than it should be.  However, if you need to do this, I can offer you three suggestions:  MilkSync/Remember the Milk, hosted Exchange for individuals, or CompanionLink/DejaOffice.

This first option gets excellent reviews on iTunes and has great customer service.  This is the Remember the Milk app for iPhone, together with MilkSync for syncing with Microsoft Office.  These provide a two-way sync but only works with the Pro version of RTM, which as of this writing is $25/year.  You can try MilkSync free for 15 days without a pro account.  This is the option I recommend you try first.

A second option is that hosted Exchange for individuals is now available for a nominal fee, from Office365.com and also from other providers.  This means that for a small monthly subscription (usually around $4-$5/month), you will no longer use the “local” version of Outlook that is installed on your PC, but instead have your Outlook hosted “in the Cloud,” which then allows you to select “Microsoft Exchange” when setting up a new account in “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” on iPhone.  Your tasks should sync directly into the Reminders app on iPhone, but as I mentioned above, if you don’t like how that works, you can try a third-party app called IMExchange2.

The third option is not well recommended in the app store, but in the interest of being thorough, I thought I would include it: CompanionLink (on your PC) and DejaOffice (on your iPhone).  The instructions for this are as follows:
1. Install CompanionLink on your PC.
2. Install the free DejaOffice app on the iPhone.
3. Configure CompanionLink to use DejaCloud as the sync method.
4. Select “Microsoft Outlook” as the database.
5. Click the Sync button.

You can automate the sync on a timer, as often as every 15 minutes.

Please note that I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way, and this technology seems to be ever-changing.  But I will do my best to keep this post updated with information as I get it.  If you try any of these options, I would love to hear about your results!  You can email me directly at maura(at)regainyourtime(dot)com.

Don’t forget, to learn a great system for managing your tasks, calendar, email, and all the details of your life and work, check out my training for individuals, groups, and companies, and also my book!

I hope you have found this helpful.  Good luck!

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Comments

  1. Amanda, thanks for reading and I’m sorry for your challenges. While I’m certainly not an expert in this, I did some reading on the Toodledo Forums and it appears that their sync product runs on a later version of the .NET Framework than 2.0. It leads me to believe that installing a later version (perhaps 3.5) may help. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest reaching out to Toodledo support. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  2. Are you able to edit your tasks or just sinc?

    • Hi Krissy, thanks for reading! Using ToDo on your iPhone you can edit, add or delete tasks on your phone and your changes should sync back to your Outlook.

  3. Thanks, Maura! I Googled for help on this subject and your link came up on the first page. Yours and Daniel’s info was exactly what I was looking for. My Outlook tasks are now synced with my iPhone. As usual, you’re awesome!

  4. Paul Zimmerman says:

    Worked like a charm. Thanks for making this so simple.

  5. The app is half-price at the moment on iTunes (for those wanting to make a new year resolution to get organized!)

  6. Yes, these instructions are for Outlook for Windows. Are you using Outlook for Mac 2011? I haven’t yet tried Outlook 2011 for Mac, mainly because I created a great Mac solution using iCal, and still also using Todo by Appigo to sync my tasks to my phone. I wrote a post about it here, and there is also a link in that post to an update, so be sure to read that one too.

    I hope that helps, but if you have any other questions, you are welcome to ask. Advice from me is always free. Good luck!

  7. Anshul, I will email you. I need more information to help you. Thanks for reading!

  8. This was a fantastic post and it worked for me just fine. Do you mind if I reference you and post somethng similiar on my blog http://www.8categories which is all about organisation and living a balanced life. I would really like to include this as a blog post.

  9. Jose I Huerta says:

    I’m sure you fill proud of been so helpful to others. In my case I was desperate and you gave me the solution. Don’t know if you receive “international” thanks, mine is one, from Mexico.

  10. Christopher says:

    I followed the directions provided and it worked like a champ.
    First time I had multiple steps like this and something actually worked!!!!

    I highly reccomend this!

  11. Awesome! Works with Win7 X64 & Outlook 2010, iPhone 4 – 4.3.3 and iPad 2 4.4.4 !

    For $2.99 you get one app for both iOS devices!!!

    Thanks Maura.

  12. I’ve been looking for a viable solution for syncing Outlooks Tasks with my iPhone. This is it! Thanks for the post and especially for the easy-to-follow instructions.

  13. Evelina says:

    nice! I’m using ,,Plan” . It Sync my todos on the go to Cloud :)

  14. Fantastic! Just ant I needed. Thanks!

  15. Hi,
    I may ask stupid questions here, but aren’t any of you worried about uploading your calendar and tasks to some online service provider?

    I’d prefer to synchronise Outlook with iPhone using the cable provided with the iPhone – not to rely on some online service provider.

    Would this be possible somehow?

    • Hi Peter-
      Thanks for your comment on my blog! I agree, I like to sync locally (with the cable) too. Unfortunately, Apple did not include task support in the iPhone, so the only way to get Outlook tasks into iPhone is with a third party app, which usually requires syncing up to the web first.

      I hope that helps!

  16. Thanks for the information. I am trying to figure out the best way to sync iPhone 4 with Outlook 2003 Tasks and came upon your site recommending Toodledo.com plus an App of some kind (still debating which App is best).

    All seemed to be proceeding well until I went to install Chromatic Dragon from the link above. It said… “The ToodledoSync application is no being longer supported. Please consider the following alternative products: Appigo Sync, Captera Organizer or GSyncit ”

    Not quite sure how to proceed. Any suggestions anyone? Thanks!

    • To replace Toodle-do, I suggest you use Appigo Sync. Another option besides these instructions is to check out 2Do (www.2doapp.com) by Guided Ways Technologies.

  17. Chromatic Dragon’s Toodledo Sync Application is no longer being supported. The Toodledo iPhone app is only $2.99 now.

  18. Thank you for such an excellent explanation. You made my life easy.
    God bless . . .

  19. Thanks, Maura! Your instructions were perfect. And even though Chromatic Dragon’s Toodledo Sync tool is no longer supported, you can still download it and use it.

    The Toodledo method gets around the firewall problems that I encountered with 2Do when I moved and got a new router.

  20. Finally I have my outlook tasks on my iphone! You are a life saver I’ve tried figuring this our for years, your instructions were perfect. thank you!!

  21. The download from Chromatic Dragon is no longer available since both the main chromadrake.com is no longer valid and the mirror site for the download is gone. On the ToodleDo site there is a forum message mentioning a Outlook 2010 Addin OnlyToodleDo but it did not work at all. Downloaded TaskAngel which will synch between itself and the ToodleDo website which can be accessed by synching from the ToodleDo iphone app. After 12 years using BlackBerry’s we switched over to iPhones but certainly didn’t expect something we took for granted to be so hard. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  22. I’ve read the most recently dated responses and they seem to conflict. If I download and install the Appigo ToDo app ($4.99) is that the only thing I need to sync Outlook Tasks with my iPhone? And if I do use Appigo ToDo, is it a fairly simple process to install it, set it up, and make it work with Outlook Tasks? Appreciate any responses :-)

  23. Sherwin Levinson says:

    This is very disappointing.

    Appigo says “Synchronization Error, Appigo Sync Busy”, but it does appear to sync the tasks despite this error. However, it does NOT sync alerts, though Appigo claims they do (http://support.appigo.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/181/0/how-is-my-data-mapped-from-todo-to-outlook)

    Neither does Guided Ways’ 2Do.

    At least Appigo does seem to support every kind of recurrence Outlook has, which 2Do does not.

    However, a tasks app that doesn’t provide reminders is pretty useless.

  24. Sherwin Levinson says:

    Update to my July 14 comment: Appigo Sync and Todo DOES work with Outlook, including alerts and most recurrence patterns. The problem was too many completed tasks hanging around. I solved the problem by making Outlook’s autoarchive a little more agressive on archiving old tasks. I could have accomplished the same by deleting completed tasks after some period of time, but I like to keep the record of when tasks were completed.

  25. when I got to step 5 for synchronization, I did not see the 2 options for synchronization methods. It shows Toodledo service. There is an line for “switch services” which asks: connection information for your current sync service will be cleared” – not sure what this means so I stopped. I question if this means you can only sync wirelessly between iphone and Outlook directly and not through Toodledo? Is that correct? The need for the online tasks (toodledo) would be to sync with a second version of outlook (i.e. home and work). Seems like I’m not understanding something about this?

  26. So I’ve got my passcode to sync the phone with appigo now when I open appigo it doesn’t list my phone in the devices. HELP I really need to link outlook and my phone!

  27. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

  28. I love getting help from knowledged people! They’re so informative.

  29. The lastest Appigo Todo iPhone App no longer, repeat NO LONGER syncs with Outlook. Additionally, Appigo Sync is no longer available. If you don’t have it you’re sunk, and if you don’t have an older version of Todo, you’re sunk again, because the new version doesn’t recognize Appigo Sync if you happen to have it.

    I strongly suggest a major update to this article or its complete removal. Appigo didn’t even have the courtesy to email their customers they were disabling the app.

    • mauranevel says:

      Thanks for responding! You are correct and I have updated the post with my newest recommendations.

  30. I agree that this is more complicated that it should be and perhaps this is not what I need. I use an Outlook calendar on my iPad. The calendar seems to be part of my Hotmail account. I would like my wife to be able to view it on her iPhone and iPad. She uses gcal. My calendar allows me to share by getting a link and sending it to her (supposedly), but when I try to view the link, I can only see part of it in the window and I can’t scroll horizontially in the window or copy all the link. Is there something I can do?

    • mauranevel says:

      Dr. Tom, thanks for reading and commenting. Given that you and your wife both use Apple products, why not use the iCal? You can sync to all of your devices and share with each other easily via iCloud. Perhaps this page will help you: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2690 Thanks again for reading!

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